MGM loss means David Fincher may not return for Dragon Tattoo sequel

Sequels will have to scale back on budget

The Girl With The Dragon Tattoowas always going to be a tricky sell to a mainstream audience, what with its hard R-rating and lengthy running time. However, MGM were probably hoping for better than the loss they’ve ended up with.

The studio told Deadline that despite taking $231 million worldwide, the film still ended up, “below our expectations, and we booked a modest loss.”

This of course will have a knock-on effect for planned sequels The Girl Who Played With Fire and The Girl Who Kicked The Hornet’s Nest, both of which are still scheduled to go ahead, “assuming we can achieve better economics”.

That may well lead to the studio opting against re-hiring David Fincher to direct, although that in itself would cost MGM $5 million, as Fincher currently holds an option of the first sequel, said to be his favourite story of the trilogy.

Whether or not Fincher stays (and given that he and the studio were reportedly at loggerheads throughout much of Dragon Tattoo’s production, it’s extremely possible that he may not) it's likely that The Girl Who Played With Fire will have to come in at significantly lower than the $90 million budget that had initially been bandied about.

MGM will likely wait to see how the film performs on DVD before pulling the trigger, but for now, a Fincher-directed trilogy is far from a done deal…

Did you go and see Dragon Tattoo? Do you want to see Fincher complete the trilogy? Tell us, below.


    • Heisenberg

      Mar 23rd 2012, 14:21

      Please please please keep Fincher, He already set his distinctive look and tone in the first movie, he has to stay to finish this. If the money has to scaled back, fair enough, but don't let Fincher go.

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    • QuietLife

      Mar 23rd 2012, 14:26

      Nah, they'll give it to Paul W.S. Anderson and he'll recast Milla Jovovich as Lisbeth...

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    • georgeWW

      Mar 23rd 2012, 15:10

      seriously without fincher i'm worried the last two films will bomb he is the main reason people accepted the re-make and went to see it. Besides his style is so amazing. KEEP FINCHER SONY

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    • joker16

      Mar 23rd 2012, 15:27

      It was pretty clear a while ago that Fincher would probably not return, since he's been wanting to do 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea for a while now. Still, this is so depressing, for a number of reasons. Out of the 3 stories, I think Dragon Tattoo is the least interesting. And I agree with Fincher that the 2nd story is the best, so if he were to direct any of them, I'd rather it had been the 2nd. David Fincher happens to be one of the few geniuses currently working in cinema today so there is no one that MGM could hire that could do even half as good a job as Fincher did. And factoring in the troubles he had with the studio while making it and the inevitable budget cuts, it almost seems like a done deal. As far as MGM is concerned, how much did they think it was going to make? $231 million is pretty damn good for an dark R rated film about misogyny and torture. There is no point in even making the other 2 films if Fincher isn't going to do it.

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    • moviemandan77

      Mar 23rd 2012, 15:56

      I really enjoyed this remake (and wasn't expecting to) but a huge part of that is down to Fincher's direction. Although it would be a huge shame if he wasn't involved in the next two sequels there is a strong cast and an interesting directing opportunity for some auters here I feel.

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    • FBDRodriguez

      Mar 23rd 2012, 16:06


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    • MikeyRix

      Mar 23rd 2012, 17:09

      ^ Not sure what's the worst thing about your comment: the constant capitals, the overuse of punctuation or the terrible grammar. The combination of all three makes your comment difficult to take seriously. Anyway...As I've already said, I hope Fincher comes back 'cause he managed to win over the naysayers (myself included) and it'll probably get worse if they get someone else to do it. Case in point: QuietLife's example

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    • luciedgar

      Mar 23rd 2012, 17:25

      If Fincher doesn't come back for the next two movies I think the movies will do worse. Fincher's vision for the first film was perfect and everything about it was fantastic, and removing him would ruin the atmosphere that he has established in the first film. Rooney Mara's performance is amazing and it was because of Fincher that she gave that exquisite performance. I think it would be a HUGE mistake to remove Fincher.

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    • Pixies49

      Mar 23rd 2012, 18:08

      Thought Fincher has already said he wasnt going to do a second anyway. FBDRodriguez - Presume that you dont understand simple economics then. $231m dollars is the box office take, not what the studio has recouped. Its idiots like you that will kill the film industry. Complaining about the profits that Studios are making, but refusing to put your hand in your pocket to see a movie or buy it on DVD. LEECH

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    • Ali1748

      Mar 23rd 2012, 19:19

      I am still p********f about all the nominations this movie got, The original version with Rapace was perfect.

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    • joker16

      Mar 23rd 2012, 21:07

      @Ali1748 The Swedish film was far from perfect. But just out of curiosity, have seen Fincher's film? Something tells me the answer is no.

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    • FBESanders

      Mar 23rd 2012, 21:11

      If David Fincher doesn't direct the sequels I will lose faith in MGM forever. BTW I've seen all of the Swedish versions and the English version is just as good.

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    • joker16

      Mar 24th 2012, 0:23

      @KingofCock God I wish Lisbeth Salander would kick that metal d***o up your @ss.

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    • Heisenberg

      Mar 24th 2012, 9:06

      @Joker, why? he would just enjoy it, give his face a good pussyrubbing, that'll freak him out. @King, IT IS NOT A f*****g REMAKE, HOW MANY TIMES DO YOU HAVE TO BE TOLD THAT? For someone who seems to be so into movies, you have a very good habit of not knowing what the f**k your talking about for about 99.9% of your comments.

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    • thedanieljson

      Mar 24th 2012, 11:07

      @Heisenberg as moronic as King's comments are, there's no real need for homophobia is there? Just reducing yourself to the level of insults he's given on other comment boards.. Anyway. Fincher is probably Hollywood's best director, and makes one hell of a film. It'll be a shame to see him leave the franchise.

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    • Heisenberg

      Mar 24th 2012, 13:47

      @daniel, there wasnt anything homophobic in what i said, @kindofcinema is gay, so i played on the fact he would enjoy gettin a d***o up his bum, it was merely jesting, he knows i meant no harm by it. @king lol, in all fairness i think i good pussyrubbin would freak most guys out haha. I havent read the books either, the only reason i was interested was because of Fincher, as @daniel says, he is one of, if not the best in the business right now, he has to stay attached to the sequels.

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    • joker16

      Mar 24th 2012, 16:27

      Hey, I'd welcome a solid pussyrubbing from Ms. Mara any day of the week....

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    • TheDMeister

      Mar 24th 2012, 21:22

      Fincher's exit from the series would ruin it completely. The studios should also consider creativity alongside the financial stuff. After all if all they care about is money and they don't care about quality, then that is the equivalent of deliberatelly ripping people off.

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    • mville

      Mar 24th 2012, 21:40

      To not have Fincher complete this franchise would be a missed opportunity. Batman Begins had a disappointing box office return for a Batman film but it grew a following selling over $150 million in DVDs over the next few years over word of mouth. The Dark Knight would have never happened if they cut Christopher Nolan after that film.

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    • FBRFlorida

      Mar 30th 2012, 22:32

      If you can't make money with a 90 million dollar cost and a 231 million Net then you have problems that go way beyond your director. I am calling BS on MGM.

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    • Elvis

      May 24th 2012, 17:52

      The girl with the dragon tattoo is an absolute masterpiece. This comes from a very brilliant artist and member of the Hollywood community. It also comes from someone who hates 99% of the films that are released! Daniel Craig is always a joy and Rooney Mara is an instant super star. There MUST be a sequel and the third film as well. Stop paying the executives and your budget will drop to 60 million! Fincher is good but not necessary, though cutting a mere 5 million is silly. How they wasted 90 million dollars is shameful! With great talent you could have half the people who worked on the film and have just as good a film. If the executives would cut their take by 50% they would end up benifiting in the long run, but that is not how greedy Hollywood works,sadly. There is a fortune to be made on these R rated films and the lack of merchandising was a big error as was a Xmas release! I would put up money to see the trilogy finished. And merchandise these films like Elvis. Sell all the props and costumes when the shoot is finished, that is millions right there! Best film in 5 years and possibly the best film since The Usual Susects! I do nt agree with the new obsession with PG-13 films as they DO NOT make more. It is all in the promotion. Parents will take kids of 13-17 as most of these kids are already "adults" in any event. The falseness of a smoke free, clean Hollywood will never fly as people are just not that dumb. Forget the bible belt and explore foreign markets and dubbing in Chinese and you will grab a 700 million to 1 billion per film take. I have always made more in China, India and Russia than the USA!! Please cut the waste and make the other films in one shoot. I signed my 1st record/publishing deal at 17 and have nearly 40 top 40 hits and 14 #1's. I will do the soundtrack for food and board and sign over any royalties to see the next 2 motion pictures! Money isn't everything! Now, hurry up!

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